Gastrointestinal health is a foundation to optimal health for the entire body. Without a balanced ecology (microbiome) and healthy barrier system in the gut, optimal health is difficult, if not impossible to achieve. Food allergies and hidden food sensitivities, as well as bacterial, yeast and parasitic overgrowth, alcohol and NSAIDs use, can all cause intestinal permeability (leaky gut) that manifests into symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, skin issues, inability to lose weight, gastrointestinal pain, fatigue, inflammation and autoimmune conditions.
Common symptoms of gastrointestinal imbalance
Food allergies / Sensitivities
Diarrhea / chronic loose stool
Nutrient deficiencies caused by malabsorption
Bloating after meals
Mucus in stool
Identifying underlying factors and dysfunction is essential to healing the gastrointestinal system. Eliminating foods alone does not heal. It is essential to treat dysbiosis and intestinal permeability concurrently with food elimination to truly address the underlying factors that led to food intolerance and sensitivity. Food sensitivities manifest symptoms, however intestinal permeability and dysbiosis create food intolerance and sensitivities.
Gut Dysbiosis & Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut): Your gut epithelial layer (the lining or outmost part of your gut) is the major barrier between you and the outside world. Its integrity is essential in the function of the immune system. Many things can alter the integrity of the gut lining (barrier). The cells are held together by “tight junctions”. Triggers can break these tight junctions and make the gut more permeable to immunogens and allergens, which sets off cascades of immune and inflammatory responses. Dysbiotic (infectious or opportunistic) organisms, pesticides, alcohol, gluten, stress, NSAIDS such as aspirin and ibuprofen, are among the triggers that break tight junctions. (That right it’s not just gluten!). Diet plays a large role in what organisms are present in the gut. A Western diet feeds dysbiotic organisms that contribute to immune activation while healthy gut bacteria can stimulate anti-inflammatory responses to heal from disease.
Testing to identify underlying factors effecting gastrointestinal health: